But first, a little bit about Casey (who is absolutely lovely BTW! Right?!) Casey is the author of the darling blog Casey's Elegant Musings. She sews and designs her own dresses with a flair for retro style. Often her dresses can seen on the front page of Burdastyle.
But I'll let her tell you a little bit about herself in person....
When did you start sewing?My earliest sewing memory is from around age 5 or 6. My mom sewed a lot when I was little, and I used to watch her makes clothes and other little things for my sister and I. I loved how she could take a pattern, fabric and some trims and make something really pretty--to me that was magical. I begged her to teach me how to sew, but it wasn't until age 10 that she taught me how to use a sewing machine. Until then, she showed me some handstitches and let me rummage through her scrap bin for pieces to make doll clothes with. I also taught myself a lot of sewing techniques from books I checked out at the public library during my childhood--it wasn't until my late teens that the internet really started to help expand my sewing knowledge beyond what the library books could show me. So I guess I've been sewing for about 20 years now!
Why do you sew?
I sew primarily because I love to create things and adore fashion. It's about aesthetics and catering to my own sense of style and self. But it's also got a lot to do with economy and not being able to afford the quality of clothes I admire and the fit I want with my budget. Caviar tastes on a canned tuna budget! There is something really fascinating about the whole process too--I think it's a carry-over from the "magical" view I had of sewing as a child.
What sparked you to begin a blog about your creations?
I started blogging back in 2004, on LiveJournal. At the time I was heavily into historic fashion and costuming; many of the friends I had met on discussion boards were also on LJ, and we shared projects, research and techniques through our blogs. My blog has morphed a bit--I now write more about vintage fashion and style, thrifting, general sewing and homemaking--and moved to my own blog-space. But I love sharing my adoration of sewing with others, encouraging them and inspiring. I have met so many talented people out there who sew--who have taught me a lot too!
What benefits, besides your lovely blog, have you experienced from sewing your clothes rather than buying new ones?Oh golly--where to start?! As I mentioned before, the ability to customize my own wardrobe on a tiny budget has been the biggest advantage. I love scouring for the raw materials--be it fabric from a discount table or trims and notions from the thrift store--and being able to create something that fits within my personal style and fits well. It's part of the adventure! Being able to look into the catalogs, websites and vintage inspiration, take those looks and recreate them is so much fun--and really stretches my imagination and sewing abilities. I also have to say on the blogging/sewing topic that one of the biggest benefits has been the amount of knowledge I've gained from other sewing bloggers. Finding about new techniques, improving old ones, discovering new books and resources--it's been an amazing boon to my closet.
And now for the FAUX FUR SWEATER TUTORIAL BY CASEY HERSELF:
- 1/2 yard faux fur
- sew-in interfacing (I used hair canvas, but any heavy weight sew in should work)
- 1/2″ wide cotton twill tape or rayon hem tape; approximately 1 yard
- 1/2 yard lining fabric
- hook and eye (or other method of closure; see end of tutorial for details)
- pattern/tracing paper
- pencil, pen, paper scissors
- thread to match fur
- needles, pins, fabric shears,
Alternatively, if you desire something a bit more permanent (but still removable), you can always attach the ribbon and just whipstitch it to the inner neckline of the garment. I’ve seen this in a lot of vintage sewing manuals, but it still allows for removal for cleaning!